very last sentence of Stephen Hawking’s book, A Brief History of Time
says: “If we find the answer [to why the universe exists], it would be the ultimate
triumph of human reason–for then we would know the mind of God.”
does not mean that Hawking is looking for God. He uses the term, “God” as a
metaphor for what science does not yet understand. Hawking, along with many
of the world’s leading physicists, are investigating what they call the Grand
Unified Theory–the underlying principle that links all forces in the universe.
I am not a scientist, I find what is happening at the leading edge of science very
fascinating. And why shouldn’t it be? As the first verse of the nineteenth
Psalm says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work
of his hands.” That was written about three thousand years ago, in a time when
we had a very rudimentary understanding of the workings of the cosmos. How much
more fascinating is today when we have an even greater grasp of the nature of
scientists who are atheists admit that the magnificence of the creation fills
them with awe, even if it does not lead them to acknowledge its creator. But
what it should do, at the very least, is to make them think twice before making
bold statements about there being no God. And their reflections may even lead them
to a more profound discovery about what, or who, transcends nature.
is an active paradox in scientific investigation and achievement today. As we
push the frontiers of scientific knowledge further into outer space and deeper
into inner space, we begin to realize
the limits of what we currently know. Things we thought to have nailed down,
may no longer be the case. We discovered the universe was expanding, but
believed the rate of expansion was slowing down. Now, scientists believe it is
actually speeding up. The scientists working at the Hadron Super Collider in
Geneva may be on the verge of discovering things that could turn our understanding
of physics on its head. The creation does seem to be, as various astronomers
and physicists have observed, not only stranger than we had imagined, but
stranger than we could ever imagine. There is a mystery even to creation itself
that transcends human knowing.
course, this, of itself, neither proves nor disproves that God exists. That is
a question beyond science. God cannot be measured by scientific instruments.
There is no microscope, no telescope, no micrometer, no measuring device that
can measure God. God transcends his creation. God is not a created thing and
creation is not an extension of God’s being. Real knowledge of God himself
depends upon God’s own self-revelation.
before the scientific age, the writer of the Book of Job shrewdly observed “We’ll never comprehend all the great
things he does; his miracle-surprises can’t be counted” (Job 9:10 The Message).
To those who
know him, like the Psalmist, even God’s actions in creation remain a mystery
beyond human comprehension. However, that
does not mean we should not try to understand the mysteries of creation. It is
sad that many Christians see scientific discovery as a threat. But why should we
regard it as a danger? Yes, some may use certain selective bits of scientific
information about creation to counter Christian beliefs about God. But God, by
his Spirit, may use someone’s desire to look into the mysteries of creation to
open them up to searching for the mystery behind creation. And for those who
know God in Christ, appreciating the wonders of creation will help us, like
Job, recall the wisdom, power and creativity of our Lord. Truth is truth, and
something that is true about creation cannot ultimately contradict something
that is true about its Creator.
Scientific discovery, when properly
interpreted, can show us more of God’s handiwork. And faith in that God, when
properly understood can show us that the Creator is not only powerful beyond
our imagination, but has a love for us that is not only greater than we
understand, but greater than we can even imagine.
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.